Chris had friends and family around the globe. We, his family, feel this online tribute is the best way to honor him and reach out to all of you. Please share with those in your circle who knew him and feel free to add stories and pictures.
  • 51 years old
  • Born on September 20, 1967 in Harrisburg, Illinois, United States.
  • Passed away on June 10, 2019 in Oakland, California, United States.

We have selected two organizations if you would like to donate in his name: "Taos Toolbox" (a writers workshop) and "Beyond Rescue" (an animal rescue run by his friend, Corina, who gave his dog a home after his passing) Here's how to donate:

Taos Toolbox - Paypal: - or - make checks payable to: Walter Jon Williams, 16 James Sanchez Lane, Belen, NM 87002 (please write "Chris Cornell Scholarship" on the check memo line).

Beyond Rescue - go to website & click on donate: 

Posted by Cory Nabors on July 9, 2019
Chris was a big fan of video games. We first met nearly 20 years ago in EverQuest and hit it off immediately. We had the same taste in fiction and games. We had similar senses of humor. Over the years, the games that we played together changed but we remained good friends and chatted almost daily. We used to say that we could play solitaire together and still have a good time. We never met in person. We'd planned to correct that in Mexico later this year for our friend Mike's wedding. We'd been making plans for silly shirts and hats to wear while we were there. There will be a somber note to the trip that will be hard to shake. It will be hard not to think: 'Chris should be here too.' Since his passing, it's hit me over and over... I still want to send him a funny news article that I just read or get his opinion on something or trade puns with him or just reminisce old stories that would always make us laugh. I'm grateful to have gotten the chance to have Chris for a friend and will miss him terribly.
Posted by Elijah Lovejoy on July 9, 2019
Each moment is immutable, transcendent, mundane, fleeting. Sometimes the now overwhelms, the awesome and terrible pasts and futures ebb. Other times it is as if we are in a museum or mausoleum, or so lost in possible futures that we forget our hands on a keyboard, the crows arguing in the oak trees outside, the tides of time and life. A codebase is like a over-edited book, half-legible, equally confusing to the programer and the computer. An old half-built house where the finished table sits on a dirt floor that we imagine as tile but have not yet built. Woe is me, to walk these halls without you. Lucky me, to still see you everywhere. Dan helped me organize some thoughts on our blog:
Posted by Divya B on July 8, 2019
Chris became my friend at Paradise Lost. We spent time together at a couple of WorldCons, and I last saw him NebulaCon in May, 2019. In addition to being a friend, Chris invited me to be part of the Unreliable Narrators podcast, and he was a wonderful voice for the listeners of the Escape Pod podcast. Barely a week before his passing, we'd been emailing each other about a two-part story narration he was going to do for Escape Pod. I still feel the pang of Chris's loss every time I open up my schedule. In addition to being a talented writer, podcaster, and narrator, Chris was always gentle, kind, and funny. I am so very sorry that he's gone.
Posted by Linda Shepperd on July 8, 2019
I miss his sweetness his kindness his laughter his thoughtfulness his quick wit and humor his sense of adventure his appreciation of life his creative nature his acceptance and open mind his sensitivity his hugs his beautiful face his love. The best human I will ever know. It's been wonderful to hear from so many who loved and appreciated our Chris. I'm so glad I got to meet some of you.
Posted by Susan Iwamoto on July 4, 2019
Christopher came to work in my department at an educational teaching organization in the South Bay back in 1989. We knew him when he was around 29 years old – over 20 years ago, but it seems like yesterday. That’s the thing about memories, so here are a few more. Christopher helped my department set up week-long, hands-on summer math workshops for elementary teachers around the country. He was confident in talking with the math instructors, and they enjoyed talking with him. Christopher was a kind and gentle person who helped create a positive atmosphere with those around him. He was extremely bright and creative and had a clever way with words both oral and written. He was definitely a strong team member who worked diligently on any project. One of his talents was his use of imagination. Once when I was leaving to teach a math workshop in Mississippi, he encouraged me to drive 100 miles north to Memphis to visit Graceland just in case Elvis was still alive, which I did. Somewhere he found this old paperback book purportedly analyzing whether or not Elvis was still alive and promised to read it and do a book report on it by the time I returned, which he did in Christopher fashion. Another time when there was a news report about the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, I ended up getting my own personal shroud designed by Christopher on my birthday. He loved Egyptian mythology and knew a lot about the various gods and goddesses, especially Ra. He loved music and some of us went to see him perform. Christopher wasn’t one to get up in your face or raise his voice. He had a quizzical way of just saying “really?” Then we would all burst out laughing. The last time I heard his voice was when Lorena, another former colleague who moved to Florida, picked him up at the port in Fort Lauderdale after a writers cruise and drove him to the airport to fly back to the Bay Area. They were both laughing and talking about old times and surprised me with a phone call. Christopher told me how wonderful the cruise had been for encouraging up and coming writers and meeting potential publishers. I'm so grateful that I was able to listen to his podcasts and hear his voice and listen to his music. It made me smile. His last message was an email when he was visiting Estonia and on his way to Finland. I was so happy that he was living his dream. I am especially grateful that those of us who worked with him were able to be part of his journey. Christopher, we miss you. You will be a part of our lives forever. Really!
Posted by Lauren Teffeau on July 3, 2019
I was shocked and saddened to hear of Chris's death. For many years, we have shared our writing with one another, and it was so gratifying to see his command of craft get better and better with each novel. I was eagerly awaiting his next project, and I'm devastated that I will not see it. More, that the publishing community will not see it. He is gone too soon. His humor and view of the world, his steady support and good-naturedness, are a huge loss for all of us. He will be missed.
Posted by Kyoohee Lee on July 3, 2019
I am so sorry for all of your loss and wish you our deepest condolences. Having lost family and friends so close to my heart, I understand the deep pain and the stinging scar that can be left behind. I have gained so much comfort reading Ecclesiastes 9:5, where it says "the dead know nothing at all". I am so glad to know my family and friends are not in a state of suffering and I look forward to seeing them when "there is going to be a resurrection" (Acts 24:15)!
Posted by Fran Wilde on July 1, 2019
Chris, in addition to being a wonderful person to talk to at conventions and workshops, was an excellent podcaster and interviewer. His professionalism and joy about what he was doing showed through on the interviews he did with me -- it was more sitting down to talk with a friend than an interview, really -- and his questions were always generous and lovely. Chris was one of those good people who always reached out. He did me a great kindness once that was above and beyond. I'm going to miss him a lot.
Posted by Michelle Wolf on June 30, 2019
Chris was my brilliant student, and after that my uber-outstanding Teaching Assistant. Chris did a lot of teaching, Not necessarily in the classroom, in our conversations. He was a teacher, an explorer, a very wise man. I have a long list of various and sundry things I learned from him and continue to use now. I followed his work and we stayed in touch since he graduated; this quieted down the last couple of years.I have more to share, but I just heard about his passing so I need some time right now.
Posted by John Connelly on June 30, 2019
Chris was my most consistent roommate during college. He was the most creative person I've ever known. He could create a tune in minutes on a guitar, and was instrumental (literally!) in bringing together our first garage band, "Bloody Mary". I learned a lot about playing bass from him, and was constantly amazed and intrigued by (and somewhat envious of!) his immense creativity. Chris radically influenced my music choices. He introduced me to bands like The Dead Kennedys, Metallica, Joan Armatrading, Lene Lovich, Accept, and countless others. I am forever grateful for it. More than anything though, Chris was a down-to-earth, caring person. He will be missed by me as well as many others whose lives he touched.
Posted by Karen Birkedahl Rylander on June 30, 2019
We met at a writers workshop in 2015 and bonded sharing stories of growing up in Utah. We became fast friends and hung out whenever our paths crossed. I can be a little shy, but could always be myself around Chris. He was a joy to be around--thoughtful and funny and kind. He was interested in a lot of things and always had intelligent things to say. He was a great friend. I can't believe he's gone.
Posted by Robert Groves on June 30, 2019
I met Chris in the 9th grade in 1981 in Rock Springs, WY. We became instant friends. He introduced me to music, books, authors, artists, things that I’d never heard or seen before growing up in an isolated WY town. His taste in those things was impeccable. He was super imaginative, creative, witty, an excellent writer. He could draw, he introduced me to weird David Lynch films and we’d go see indie films at theaters around the Bay Area. He helped me culturally and opened my eyes to many things. He was super funny, he’d get you laughing so hard. In 2015 the original 4 (Chris, me, John Connelly and Gregg Lahti) did a 30th Anniversary celebration in Vegas of being friends although it was 34 for Chris and me. He came up once to Portland in 2017 and I met him and showed him things around town. That’s the last time I saw him. He will be forever missed!
Posted by Kevin Davison on June 29, 2019
Chris was delightful to work with at SendMe Mobile. We kept in touch for a few years and now I learn of our loss. My best to family and friends. Chris will be missed.
Posted by Tammy Puthoff on June 29, 2019
Chris and I worked together in the early 90s and became instant friends. As I look at pictures from long ago, I smile at the good times and how lucky I was to have that moment in time with him. I will forever remember his smile, his crazy antics and his gentle soul. He made a mark in my heart that will be there always. Miss you my friend.
Posted by Sheila Hartney on June 29, 2019
I was at the Taos Toolbox with Chris, and he was a joy. I loved his writing. He gave helpful feedback. We were only in touch a handful of times after, and I'm so sorry that I didn't keep up with him more regularly. Even so, I find I am missing him a great deal.
Posted by Alice Davis on June 29, 2019
As I have sat here thinking of Chris, and trying to decide what to write. One of my biggest feelings is gratitude. I am grateful for Chris being a good son to my Grandmother and good brother to my Mom. It meant more to me than he could ever know. I am grateful for all the gifts he gave us- his written words, his music, his humor. I'm grateful for all the wonderful memories. When I think back at my favorite times from my times with him we're definitely some of the best. Thank you Chris for just being you, I love you and miss you.
Posted by Chris Bauer on June 29, 2019
I met Chris years ago at a writing retreat. His wit and warmth made him an easy person to like and I was honored to count him as a friend. Over the years we'd meet up at various events or hang out when I traveled to the Bay area. Always encouraging other writers, he was the first to offer help or volunteer to wade through a first draft. I'll think of him often and he will be missed.
Posted by Mel Melcer on June 29, 2019
I met Chris at a writers' workshop where I got to read and admire his writing. He was a talented writer and a lovely, caring person. I enjoyed spending time with him, his warm presence and his friendship. Gone much, much too soon.
Posted by Annette Lancial on June 28, 2019
Chris was many things to many people. To me, he was a much beloved little brother, sent to us when we were all close to or already teenagers. He was a true joy to us. His other two sisters and I doted on him and he endured us with gentle tolerance and MANY hugs. He traveled many miles to see us and to spend time with us. In spite of all he was involved in, he stayed in touch, he called. When I was in the hospital, he called every day. He loved me and he told me so. That is a precious gift.
Posted by Walter Jon Williams on June 28, 2019
I encountered Chris when he was my student at the Taos Toolbox Workshop. He was not only a talented writer, but a dedicated, kind, big-hearted man who gave his best to the workshop, and worked with other participants to improve their work. He will be missed.
Posted by Skylar Laud on June 28, 2019
My uncle Chris was an amazing man and one of my greatest regrets is that I did not get to spend enough time with him in person. I am, however, forever thankful that I grew up in the era of technology because it offered me a way to read his stories, hear his voice, and experience everything he had to offer to the world. He was always there to lend me a witty retweet when I was low and gave me numerous critiques on my art and writing that helped shape me into the creative mind that I am now and those are lessons I will take with me as I carry on his standing tradition of being the nerdiest person in the room. I can only hope to be half as kind, compassionate, and funny, too. We lost a unique and amazing soul and we'll miss him dearly. Blessed be.
Posted by Catherine SchaffStump on June 28, 2019
Chris was one of my best friends. I miss him terribly. It is like the sun has stopped shining. I am so glad I met him, and will always feel his loss.
Posted by Effie Seiberg on June 28, 2019
Chris was a big ball of warmth and humor, lighting up any space he was in with his gentle wit and kind words. He is missed.
Posted by Jacquelyn Stone on June 28, 2019
We extend special thanks to the following people who helped his family during the days immediately following his death: Debbie who rescued his dog from his house; Carole who picked us up at the airport, drove us all over Oakland & beyond, helped us clean & pack up his house, fed us and gave us a place to sleep when we arrived & left; Corina for giving his dog a home; and Elijah & Glen who came by his house to share hugs & stories and helped to access his computers and sort through his valuables. Descriptions we have received from some of his friends include: wonderful, gentle, contagious laugh; loving and gracious heart; wonderful attitude toward life; overflowing with kindness and gentle humor; he leaves a hole in our world that nothing can fill.

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